"Allegedly" (remember no one has been as yet charged for this crime) so "allegedly" this young man ogled my daughter in the grocery store located beside the school property on the street that she would take walking home. Then, stalked her on her way home from school and one day, chose to force/entice her to the shed where he left her tied up to die of hypothermia.
This to me was the worst possible example of mistreatment and abuse of women! Something, as I've mentioned before is most abhorrent to me. Something, despite our programs, rhetoric, justice systems, psychology, education, technology, spirituality etc. we in the west have not been able to solve. This is not a problem only in primitive cultures or foreign countries, It is here in our own so called civilized and enlightened world! The abuse and unspeakable crimes against women have not stopped nor have we come up with solutions that deal with it adequately!
As I stood in my studio space grieving and thinking about this tragic state of affairs, my mind went to Samson. The Biblical charecter I had thought of as being at least "interesting" in my youth now came in as an example of what just happened to our daughter! The story's were different but freakingly similar.
Samson was raised as a "nazerite" which meant he'd had serious spiritual upbringing and training. He knew the 10 commandments, had attended church, memorized scripture and had been trained to be the first "Judge of Israel!. Nevertheless he ignored all this and the spiritual consequences a life of disobedience might bring, not only to himself but a nation depending on his spiritual leadership.
Secondly, he abused his parents by running roughshod over their concerns not only about his abusive fraternization with the women but that he refused to relate to the girls of his own nation and had eyes only for the ladies of his enemies, the Philistines.
Then, in Judges where his story is told we are informed that he chose a Philistine wife because she seemed "right in his eyes." This is a problem because it's all about her looks! He's chosen her as his wife without consideration of her personality, who she is. And when the marriage fails, he later goes after her referring to her as "his heifer!" How disparaging can you get! The fact of the matter is that even if she's Philistine, she's still a woman, a special creation made in the image of God, with dignity and majesty, with the potential of a personal relationship with God like anyone else, males included.
All sounds similar to the man who abducted our daughter!
But the list goes on, he abuses her further by going off in a huff, abandoning her, then thinking he's going to buy back favor with the gift of a goat! Following this he engages in prostitutes ending up with "Delilah." By this time he's so full of pride and confident insolence, independence and insensitivity, he begin's playing abusive games with her which to on one's surprise backfires on him. A woman finally gets the better of him and he actually becomes a victim of his own abuse. He get's his just reward finally as the secret of his strength is revealed. He's captured, his captors gouging out his eyes in the process. Now that's justice!
I guess that's why I had to make Samson with a bulls head. I had to place the two women under his feet. I had to have his eyes empty holes in his head. I had to make him standing on the grindstones which he walked around harnessed to them like a bull, going in circles for the rest of his life grinding grain.
As sad as this all is, there was hope! He was now blind so wasn't distracted with his "wondering eye." He was going round and round grinding grain and so had time to think. It seems that he he came to some resolution with his God, a time of repentance and renewal. A time for his hair to grow again. Ready for the one moment he could finally do what God had intended him to do in the first place, to disable the Philistine enemies of Israel and give them a season of peace. This "God ordained moment" presented itself when the blind Samson was led into a banqueting hall where all the "lords" of the Philistines were gathered to celebrate their great god dagon. Their intention to mock Samson became their demise!
We all know this part of the story, finally he did not think of himself, but gave up his life as he called upon his God for the strength he'd once had to dislodge the two main pillars of the building. In this one act he killed more of the enemy than he'd killed during his lifetime.
As I mentioned earlier, Samson is listed in the Hebrews 11 chapter of heroes of the faith. Along with Abraham, Moses and the like. Samson therefore is in heaven with all the saints. Here is my closing thought, will this also happen to our daughter Candace's murderer? He to, like Samson has had time to think about his life. I (we) have prayed for him, asking God to intervene in his life. Is it possible for me as a father to one day, in heaven, watch him, side by side with my daughter in eternity? My answer, if it happened to Samson, it could very well happen to him.